Site-specific Validation of a Chronic Toxicity Test with the Amphipod Hyalella azteca : An Integrated Study of Heavy Metal Contaminated Sediments in Peak Creek, Virginia

EPA Grant Number: R826198
Title: Site-specific Validation of a Chronic Toxicity Test with the Amphipod Hyalella azteca : An Integrated Study of Heavy Metal Contaminated Sediments in Peak Creek, Virginia
Investigators: Cairns, John , Niederlehner, Barbara R. , Smith, Eric , Voshell, Joseph Reese
Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 2, 1998 through December 31, 1999
Project Amount: $211,116
RFA: Contaminated Sediments (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


We will measure the correspondence of endpoints from chronic toxicity tests with the amphipod, Hyalella azteca, to a series of in situ macrobenthic community endpoints, starting with those endpoints most similar to those monitored in the laboratory test, then expanding to include community level endpoints that represent the most developed methods for characterizing ecological condition in streams.


An integrated study of Peak Creek, Pulaski, VA will include observations of impact in both field and laboratory with appropriate chemical and physical observations to link the two sets of observations. Samples will be collected from 8 stations varying in degree of metal contamination on 4 sampling dates. Both upstream depositional and downstream riffle habitats will be sampled. By comparing chronic toxicity test results to instream community response in both habitats, toxicity test results can be compared to the real-world data most closely related to the population tested in the laboratory but also to the real-world data that represents our best developed measures of ecological condition. The degree of correspondence between toxicity test results and field impact will be characterized using tabular decision matrices, correlation analyses, errors from predicting field impact based on multivariate concentration-response models derived from laboratory tests, and goodness-of-fit tests. Seasonal variation in correspondence will be assessed through partial regression coefficients.

Expected Results:

This study will establish the degree of correspondence between the toxicity test results and field impact in Peak Creek. This study, combined with other validation studies, will facilitate inferences about the relationship between chronic toxicity tests with contaminated sediments and field response in general. In addition, proposed sediment quality criteria for the metals Zn, Pb, and Cu can be evaluated.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

acid volatile sulfides, ecological efflects, heavy metals, integrated bioassessment, sediments., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, National Recommended Water Quality, Contaminated Sediments, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, exploratory research environmental biology, State, Environmental Microbiology, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Biochemistry, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecological Indicators, sediment bioassay, ecological effects, ecological exposure, Virginia (VA), chronic toxicity test, macrobenthic community endpoints, bioavailability, contaminated sediment, correlation analysis , stream ecosystems, lead, amphipod hyalella azteca, sediment quality survey, integrated assessment, Zinc, amphipods, water quality, ecology assessment models, ecotoxicology, heavy metal contamination, validation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998 Progress Report
  • Final Report